Through the years I have hired (and fired) a lot of different people for a bunch of different positions. I’ve hired accountants, truck drivers, radio promoters, executive assistants, and even band members. The good news is the firing part didn’t happen often because I quickly learned the qualities I wanted in any employee.
Something I frequently noticed while interviewing for a position was the majority of people were not very good at this process. They didn’t interview well! But those that almost always rose to the top had a few of the same interview approaches. They possessed many of the same character traits. They got my attention and inevitably landed on the top of the pile to pick from.
So if you are looking for a job let me give you some tips on how to interview well:
- Research the company you are interviewing for. Knowledge of who they are, what they do, will give you insights for intelligent interaction. I loved it when a potential employee had done their homework.
- Come in with self-confidence. Be confident in yourself and your abilities. If an interviewee believed in him or herself I was more likely to believe in them too.
- Embrace humility. Seems contrary to self-confidence, but it’s not. There should never be duties below you. The bottom of my stack was filled those who thought they were above the mundane. We were a team and all hands on deck meant I ran the company but if I saw the trash needed emptying, I did it.
- Listen. There was nothing more annoying to me than someone that believed they needed to bloviate. Representing yourself well means you listen and respond in such a way that I knew you heard me.
- Follow up. Not overkill, but when I heard back from an interviewee, just a note of thank you or reiterated interest I kept them in the running.
Follow these tried and true tips. You may not get the first job you interview for, but what I can tell you from the other side of the desk, you won’t land on the bottom of the stack.